STD Numbers and the IETF Standards Track

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Author John Klensin 
Last updated 2019-01-02 (latest revision 2018-07-01)
Stream (None)
Expired & archived
plain text pdf htmlized bibtex
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


STD numbers are assigned to IETF Standards Track specifications in order to provide a stable reference even when RFCs are revised and the underlying documents change. However, the numbers are only assigned when the specifications reach Full Standard maturity level, significantly reducing their utility in the contemporary world in which few specifications advance beyond the first standardization maturity level. For that reason, one recent proposal suggested eliminating the numbers entirely. This document argues that stable references for Standards Track specifications are actually useful and that the solution is not to abolish the numbers but to change the point at which they are assigned.


John Klensin (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)